Sunday, July 1, 2012
Kanji and payar mezhukupuratti, my idea of comfort food. In the traditional Kerala homes this used to be everyday dinner. The best meal idea for a healthy,nutritious and light dinner.I make this combination atleast once in a fortnight. Takes me back to grandma's home in the scenic setting of the village of Ambalapuzha(Alleppey district, Kerala). A picture perfect setting that truly depicts simple living and high thinking. Far far away from the pressures of huge commercial cities, people here enjoyed life even in the days of no television and mobile phones. Sitting around in groups at the local temple and catching up on the day's details while children mingled with each other and loved playing around. This is so unlike the computer age of today where being hooked to the computer and the internet is the way of life.
The day would start very early and the air filled with the fresh scent of flowers, music (the old time records) played at the Krishna and Devi temples near by. Breakfast was ready at the table by the time we were all up. There were definitely no shortcuts then to cooking those delicacies.Breakfast included dishes like idli, dosa, pootu, upma or idiappam complete with all the accompaniments. Lunch was a feast in itself with an array of curries. Every house had a large number of members and with mostly joint families, the lady of the house had her hands full. However, even with so much to do people still seemed to have so much more time to sit around and enjoy. Definitely not like the busy days of today when we are all constantly complaining of busy days and no time to even breathe(wonder if the days then had more than 24 hours). The absence of the television and the computer probably made the difference.
Have very fond memories of playing in the courtyard with my grandmom sitting with the plate to feed both me and my sister. We would run around plucking flowers, around trees and then come back in between for a quick bite. Missing her, missing home (probably the Kerala video I watched on FB in the morning...just got me into a flashback)..lost in thoughts of times and people who would only live in memories..never to come back.
Ingredients for Payar Mezhukupuratti
Payar or green gram - 1 cup
Water - 2.5 cups
Salt to Taste
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies- 1 or 2
Oil -1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 8 to 10
1- Wash and drain the green gram. Put the green gram into the pressure cooker. add the water, salt, turmeric powder, green chilli and red chilli powder.
2- Cover the cooker and let cook for 10-12 minutes after the weight is put.
3- Open after 15 minutes. Dry the remaining water. Add curry leaves and adjust the salt. Add the oil and let it cook on low heat for 5-6 minutes. Serve with kanji, curd rice or with your regular fare.